Page 4 of Riz7 Travel Blog Posts

Well we’ve made it across the border into Guatemala and to the city with the wonderful name of Quetzaltenango. It’s in the Highlands of Guatemala and is actually Guatemala's 2ndcity after Guatemala City, which we are going to do our best to avoid as it sounds terrible. Like many towns in Guatemala it has several names as there are several local (ie not Spanish) languages and is normally shortened.; conveniently it seems to be universally known as Xela. Xela is however a good place for a few days; not too touristy. It’s generally frequented by gringos learning Spanish as it’s a much cheaper and better (less people here speak English) place to do this than the main tourist towns. Compared to Mexico this area reminds be a lot of countries in South America and the indigenous ... read more

North America » Mexico » Oaxaca » Oaxaca May 26th 2018

Oaxaca is our last stop in Mexico. If I remember correctly a Mexican work colleague recommended that I visit Oaxaca, and I can understand why, it is perhaps the best place we have visited in Mexico so far. We end up spending 3 days here – a day longer than originally planned - as the bus to the border with Guatemala (there is only 1 a day and this is overnight) is full on Saturday. The city is a bit of a cultural hub and attracts a fair number of visitors. It’s also one of the more indigenous areas of Mexico so there is a strong tradition of local crafts here. If we were in the market for a woven rug or other Mexican gifts then this would be a very good place to buy them. ... read more

The Teotihuacan ruins just north-east of Mexico City have two special attractions –the Le Sol (Sun) and La Luna (moon) pyramids. In truth both are incredible sights, but there are plenty of other interesting sites here particularly some well preserved wall paintings. The Sun pyramid is the 3rdlargest in the world and today stands 66m tall but the best thing is that and you can climb to the top. It’s nothing like as steep as the Mayan pyramids so the climb is easy enough and the view over the rest of the site is tremendous. You can only climb about half-way up the Moon pyramid, but as this is at the end of the main road, and built on higher ground it is both more imposing and the best place from which to view the Pyramid ... read more

North America » Mexico » Sinaloa » Mazatlan May 20th 2018

Mazatlan was our original intended ferry destination from La Paz, and although it’s taken us another day we’ve made it here via a night in Los Mochis and a 7 hour bus trip (which was comfortable enough). Acapulco may be famous for cliff divers but Mazatlan has them too. Around lunch time when enough of a crowd has built up we see one guy do his dive. It’s not from a very high point but there’s no way you would catch me doing this – even if he makes a 1000 pesos in tips per dive. Mazatlan is really not too bad a place. The prom is brash and noisy – it reminds me a lot of places in Spain. It caters for a Mexican, rather than foreign, crowd, but the beach is pretty good and ... read more

North America » Mexico » Baja California Sur » La Paz May 18th 2018

La Paz is the main city in Baja California Sur and we find it has a rehab institution, but not of the sort you might expect. It’s a reptile park that takes in sick and injured reptiles and then works to release them back into the wild. The park is on the outskirts of the city and we feel we can walk there (and catch a local bus back) even though it’s reasonably hot here in the middle of the day. The park, though small, is very good and though an online comment, suggests that it’s expensive at 150 pesos ($11usd) but that isn’t too bad compared to many other wildlife parks. Inside there are plenty of snakes, a few spiders and quite a number of iguanas. There are also a few birds; parrots you can ... read more

North America » Mexico » Baja California Sur » Loreto May 15th 2018

Loreto is the site of the first Californian Mission (founded in 1697 by Salvatierre) and is the start of the Camino Real – the old road up the Californian coast that originally linked the missions. Today Loreto is a very pleasant place to spend a couple of days. It has plenty of amenities, a small harbour, good seafront and an attractive central district, which though catering for tourists (there is an airport here and plenty of condos) doesn’t feel too developed. There is a marine park offshore and a few dive operators offering diving in the park. We are tempted until I find out that the visibility is currently only 10 feet and the water temperature a chilly 55F. It’s also 170 usd for a 2 tank dive which is pricey. Instead we take a boat ... read more

At Ensenada we have a think about our next destination. The LP has little (read no) information about places down the coast south of Ensenada until Guerrero Negro which is about 10 hours by bus. It seems to be mainly a destination for whale watching so St Ignacio a couple of hours further on seems like a better destination and there is an overnight ABC bus at 6pm which should give us a good arrival time. St Ignacio is a small oasis town set close to some stunning country close to the Sierra de San Francisco. It doubles as a centre for whale watching and as a trailhead for trips to see the Baja cave painting and petroglyphs. We get off the bus at 7am after a moderately comfortable ride, only to find the town itself ... read more

North America » Mexico » Baja California » Ensenada May 9th 2018

We’ve crossed over the US Mexico border at Tijuana. Going this way was surprisingly easy – no exit formalities from the US just a one way turnstile to walk through and no queues for Mexican immigration. We end up with a 6 month Mexican visa, but only expect to spend 2-3 weeks here on our way through to Central America. From the Mexican highway we have a good view of the border fence and it is fairly substantial. It’s not a wall, but it looks like it would keep most people out, so I’m not exactly sure why Donald wants to build a “wall” here. We’ve chosen Ensenada as our first stop in Mexico. This isn’t because it’s a great place but it is a convenient distance south in Baja and we had no great desire ... read more

In the 70’s one of my favourite TV shows was The Rockford Files. As we are driving along Highway 1 through Malibu I think it would be good to visit the location used for Jim Rockford’s trailer home. To be honest when we get there I’m a little disappointed as the parking lot at Paradise Cove looks nothing like it did in the 70’s and you can’t even park there without paying 12 dollars. They let me do a U-turn and I grab a quick picture. The Malibu beachfront also isn’t that special, considering it is some of the most expensive real estate in the world, but as Aussies perhaps we are conditioned to having such great beaches and maybe we didn't find the best of Malibu. Last night we were staying near San Ynez a ... read more

North America » United States » California » Morro Bay April 30th 2018

After leaving our rural camp (in the morning we woken by wild turkeys) near San Francisco we’ve taken a couple of days to reach what is known as slo country - the main city here is St Luiz Obispo. It’s a low key city near a range of volcanic hills that run down to the coast at Morro Bay. We are in need of some exercise so walk up the highest of the hills, though only 1500ft high it’s a steepish walk and feels like a proper hike. We’ve driven the highway 1 south down the coast from San Fran. This is THE famous Californian coast drive but a landslide last year has closed the coast road south of Big Sur so we are forced to detour inland to the Highway 101 and find ourselves driving ... read more

Tot: 0.085s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 18; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0219s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb